Award-winning actress Estelle Getty, best known for her co-starring role on the 1985-92 sitcom The Golden Girls, has died. She was 84 years old.
Born Estelle Scher in New York City on July 25, 1923, Getty started her acting career at an early age, performing in Yiddish theatre productions. She earned notoriety in breakout roles on Broadway with Torch Song Trilogy in the 1980’s and on film with the 1987 comedy Mannequin.
However, it was her role on the NBC sitcom The Golden Girls for which Getty will be best remembered. As the sassy Sophia Petrillo, Getty played the mother to actress Beatrice Arthur, who in reality, was a year older than Getty.
“Our mother-daughter relationship was one of the greatest comic duos ever, and I will miss her,” Arthur said in a statement.
Getty won both an Emmy and Golden Globe Award for her Golden Girls role. In syndication, the sitcom still draws over one million viewers a day in the U.S.
Due to deteriorating health, Getty retired from acting in 2000 and after several different diagnoses, it was confirmed years later that she was suffering from advanced dementia.
According to her son, Getty died from natural causes around 5:30 a.m. on July 22 at her home in Los Angeles.